The Pacifica has an efficient plug-in hybrid variant.
Both minivans offer a ton of family-friendly features, some of which you won’t find in a 3-row SUV.
Three-row SUVs and crossovers might be selling better than minivans, but at the end of the day, there is simply no better family vehicle than a minivan. With space-efficient designs, sliding doors, and a ton of available family-friendly features like back seat entertainment systems and even built-in vacuum cleaners, minivans are the masters of practicality.
There are only a handful of minivans left on the market and the two at the top of the class right now are the 2019 Honda Odyssey and the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica. These minivans have been recently redesigned in the last couple of years to deliver the best in family hauling. Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences and see which is better.
Nobody buys a minivan because it looks cool, but that said, these are two very sharp looking minivans. They both have designs that look elegant in their own distinct ways and they both look very nice on the high-end with tasteful use of chrome and nicer wheels. The Odyssey and the Pacifica are almost identical in size with the Chrysler being one inch longer and one inch wider than the Honda.
Much like the exterior, the interiors of both of these minivans are attractive and well-built. They’re also both obviously designed with families in mind with very space-efficient designs and plenty of room for all occupants to sit comfortably, even in the third row.
One of the main differences between these two vans is the seating configuration. They both come standard with seating for seven, but are available with seating for eight. The base Pacifica has a small bench seat in the second row that seats two people and every other trim has second-row captain’s chairs with the option to add a removable middle seat in the second row.
The Odyssey has what Honda calls Magic Slide second-row seats. It’s three individual seats in the second row with a removable middle seat. The two outboard seats can slide sideways to help optimize third-row access. Magic Slide is standard on every trim of the Odyssey with the base LX model coming with regular second-row captain’s chairs. See the 2019 Honda Odyssey models for sale near you
One thing the Pacifica offers that the Odyssey doesn’t is Chrysler’s famous Stow ‘n Go seating. Stow ‘n Go allows you to turn your minivan into a cargo van without having to remove any seats. The second and third rows both fold flat into the floor of the van. The downside here is that the second-row seats in the Pacifica aren’t as supportive or comfortable as the ones in the Odyssey. Stow ‘n Go is standard on every non-hybrid Pacifica except the base L trim. The Pacifica Hybrid does not have Stow ‘n Go available because there is a hybrid battery in the way in the floor of the van. The trade-off is that you get more comfortable second-row seats. See the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica models for sale near you
The Pacifica and the Odyssey both come standard with a strong V6 engine and the Pacifica has a plug-in hybrid option. They also both have front-wheel drive and an automatic transmission as their only drivetrain options.
2019 Honda Odyssey Engine
3.5-liter V6; 280 horsepower, 262 lb-ft of torque; 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway
2019 Chrysler Pacifica Engines
3.6-liter V6; 287 hp, 262 lb-ft of torque; 18 mpg city/28 mpg hwy
3.6-liter eHybrid V6; 260 hp, torque rating unknown; 82 combined MPGe, 32 miles of all-electric range, 520 miles of total range
As you can see by the numbers, the performance and fuel economy of the Odyssey and the Pacifica are almost identical. The Pacifica Hybrid, however, is able to run on electric power alone and is very efficient when the battery dies. They’re also very similar in terms of towing capacity with the Odyssey’s max towing rated at 3,500 pounds and the Pacifica able to tow up to 3,600 pounds.
By minivan standards, the Odyssey and the Pacifica are actually both pretty enjoyable to drive. The power is more than sufficient and the handling is more agile than you might expect from a minivan. They also both offer a smooth, comfortable ride for both the driver and all the passengers along for the ride making them good highway cruisers.
The Pacifica and the Odyssey are both a little light on standard safety tech at the base level, but are available with a lot of features in most models. The Odyssey comes standard with a rearview camera and every Odyssey except the base LX model comes with the Honda Sensing safety tech suite, which comes with pre-collision braking, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. On top of that, it’s available with parking assist and blind-spot monitoring.
The Pacifica comes standard with a rearview camera, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring and rear parking sensors. It’s available with automatic parking, front parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.
Both of these minivans come with a user-friendly infotainment system, both of which are among the best in class. The Odyssey comes standard with a 5-in infotainment system and the Pacifica has a standard 7-in unit. The Honda is upgradable to an 8-in screen and the Pacifica’s screen can be upgraded to an 8.4-in unit. With both minivans, we recommend upgrading to the bigger, better infotainment system if it’s in your budget. The Pacifica comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, both of which are optional in the Honda Odyssey.
They’re both available with a back seat entertainment system with Blu Ray compatibility. The Pacifica can be had with two screens: one for both of the second-row passengers while the Odyssey can be had with one screen that can be viewed by everyone in the second and third rows. The UConnect Theater system available in the Pacifica comes with a bunch of apps and games that can make family road trips fly by for the kids.
The Pacifica is a little more affordable than the Odyssey. The Chrysler has a starting MSRP of $27,235 and the Honda starts at $30,190. Both minivans can get into the mid- to high-$40k range when you get into the higher, more luxurious trims. The Pacifica Hybrid starts at $40,245.
This is a tough call. The Pacifica and the Odyssey are both leaders in the minivan segment and it’s difficult to declare a winner between the two. They’re both excellent in terms of comfort, convenience, safety and value. Which is better largely comes down to personal preference.
Obviously, if you want a plug-in hybrid then the Pacifica Hybrid is the minivan to have. If you see yourself carrying a lot of cargo without a lot of passengers regularly, then you’ll appreciate the Stow ‘n Go seating of the Pacifica. However, if you want a customizable interior with more comfortable second-row seats, then you’ll like the Odyssey and its available Magic Slide seating. The best way to determine which one is right for you and your family is to test drive both of these minivans. Find a Chrysler Pacifica for sale or Find a Honda Odyssey for sale